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Divorce and debts are not always a good combination

Financial concerns are often one of the reasons many Florida couples have disagreements. The stress of a mortgage, car loans, credit card debt and other debts can quickly turn into a problem for many couples. Often, one party is more money conscientious than the other and is therefore more concerned about paying off the debt. While married, it is relatively easy to ensure that both parties pay their portion of the debts. However, after the divorce, it can be difficult to ensure that this happens.

It would appear that the simplest way to resolve financial matters would be to divide the debts between the two individuals and each pay what is owed. This works only as long as both individuals fulfill their part of the agreement. When accounts are in both names, however, the creditor will look to both parties to pay the debt — regardless of what the divorce decree says.

Simply informing a creditor that an ex-spouse is now solely responsible for a debt does not resolve the problem. The creditor extended the loan to both individuals, and the creditor can look to both individuals for repayment of the loan. In the event that the ex-spouse does not pay his or her share of the joint debts, the debt can become a problem for the other individual.

In order to avoid issues with joint accounts, it is often recommended that Florida couples pay off joint accounts during the divorce process. This may involve selling the house, cars and other assets and then dividing the proceeds. This can allow the couple to pay off joint debts and then begin their separate lives without these financial ties. Couples can always seek assistance with their questions regarding the best way to handle such a situation.

Source:, After divorce, ex leaves joint debts unpaid, Sally Herigstad, Feb. 28, 2014